June 5, 2009

Today we said farewell to Marble Jr., our oldest rabbit, who passed away quietly in Tracey’s arms at the ripe old age of 9 1/2 years old. When we awoke this morning, she just didn’t look right, and as Tracey went in her cage area, she started gasping for breath and then quieted down. I got some holy water and my St. Augustine’s prayer book, blessed her, and began reciting some prayers for the dying. Within minutes she was gone. It was a holy experience to know that we not only witnessed Marble Jr.’s birth that December night way back in 1999, but to have seen it all come full circle by being there for her passing as well.

Marble Junior was (at least to our knowledge) the last surviving offspring of seven born as a result of quickie liaison between Marble (d. 2007) and Pepper (d. 2006), the latter with whom Marble Jr. spent her life paired with. As a gentle and friendly rabbit, Marble Jr. had few peers, but her sweet disposition and constantly moving nose betrayed the fact that in her salad days there were few forces in nature as destructive as she was. While baseboards and carpets were her specialty (she almost single-handedly caused nearly $1,500 in damage to our Louisville apartment), few non-edible items were spared her youthful wrath. Telephone cords, electrical cords, sweaters, jackets, T-shirts, and blankets would also come to feature her special toothy signature as well.

It’s hard to remember after all these years that Marble Jr. was the runt of the litter. She lagged noticeably behind her six brothers and sisters at first, and an early ear infection was a cause for concern. Ironically, were it not for that illness she likely would have been one of the rabbits we gave away, and we wouldn’t have had the joy of her presence all these years.

As strange as it might seem, the tragic events of 9/11 and Marble Jr. will always be inexorably linked in my mind. In those sad days and weeks as the country mourned and attempted to deal with the shock of the terrorist attacks, I would be hard at work in the guest bedroom of our Louisville apartment, sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood or a ballpoint pen as I painstakingly attempted to recreate the fancy edges of the baseboard that Marble Jr. had long ago chewed away. Between the fallout from the terrorist attacks and my recent rejection by the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, those were very sad days, but repairing the damage done by Marble Jr. served as a welcome distraction. Every Saturday I’d quit around after several hours of repair work and head over to the Mexican restaurant down the street. Seeing me walk through the door, the owner would pour me a 26 oz. margarita on the rocks with salt, and smile at me:

“Los conejos?” (rabbits in Spanish), he’d ask.

“Si, los conejos”, I’d reply with a sigh. And we’d both laugh.

More than anything else, Marble Jr. loved to eat. Her favorite treats were carpeting of any kind, her daily slice of banana, and the occasional small piece of pizza crust or a small handful of pasta. But she also loved traditional rabbit delights like her Nibble Rings, wildberry yogurt treats, and cilantro. She loved attention and company, and whenever Tracey would come inside her play area to spend time with her, Junior would do a big stretch and proceed to clean Tracey’s face.

Life, of course, goes on, and with Cosmo, Half-Pint, and The Little Bitch (a.k.a. Peanut) still around, life will slowly return to normal. But Marble Jr.’s passing is truly the end of an era. She was not only the last of her bunny family, but our last physical link to our years in Louisville. She may be gone, but she will always be in our hearts.

Rest in peace, Marble Jr. – you had a great life and never knew anything but love and caring. We should all be so lucky.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:39 | Comments (7)
  1. Junior, you are the best of the best, a fighter till the end… May we all witness such grace and fierce passion….Junior, your bravery and courage, and sprit…..Peace,my baby, peace, you will always live on……..my love…..me

    Comment by Tracey — June 5, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

  2. Blessings and peace to Marble Jr. I was there for the births and “destruction” to the apartment. I doubt any other rabbits have lived a life so full of love and caring as with you and Tracey. We love them with all we have and then have to let them go with all we have. Please give Tracey a big hug and kiss for me. I know how she hurts right now.

    Comment by Jana — June 5, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  3. Sorry for your loss, GWS and Tracey. Sounds like she had a great run, though. RIP, Marble Jr.


    Comment by Rob — June 5, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

  4. I’m sorry to hear about yout Rabbit.

    I had to put my cat to sleep last month. She was 13 years old.
    She had cancer on her paw then her lungs collapsed. Pets are family
    and its heartbreaking. My brother had her the first part of her life then
    I took care of her the second half. Our vet told us that we did the right thing
    because the cat would have suffered. I know how you feel. The pet loses their
    appetite towards the end. It’s pretty sad.

    Anyway, hope all is well. Goodboy’s weekend, just around the corner.

    Comment by Cubby — June 6, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  5. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Life is back to normal at the hacienda – Cosmo is chasing The Little Bitch around the bedroom, and Half Pint is getting her exercise running around the area that Junior used to occupy. Whether she gets to keep it permanently will be a discussion for another time.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — June 6, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  6. […] this and this and this, there have been a lot of goodbyes haunting this house lately. I’m feeling the […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » Wednesday Wanderings — June 10, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

  7. […] of interesting to see how our rabbits have acted this past week following the passing of Marble Jr. It’s almost like their bunny radar can tell there’s one less rabbit in the house and […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » Bunny Brooding — June 13, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

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